AUSTRALIA – A parliamentary committee investigating AU$1-a-litre milk says it can’t make any recommendations until it knows if the current low prices are permanent. Releasing the second interim report earlier this week, the committee said that it wanted to wait and see what impact the discounting had on contracts with processors and farmgate prices before taking action.
The committee pointed out that only 25 per cent of Australian milk production is used for drinking milk and only about 13 per cent of national milk production is sold in supermarkets as drinking milk.
The report said: “While the committee is mindful of the many submissions outlining the potential impacts of lower supermarket milk prices on the dairy industry, it is equally cognisant of the benefits to consumers from sustained lower prices. As a general rule, lower prices are good for consumers.”
“Provided farmers have the opportunity to make a reasonable profit and in the absence of substantiated damage to the dairy industry, the interests of consumers must not be overlooked.”
The committee is seeking further information regarding the duration of the “Down Down” campaign and the outcome of renegotiated contracts with the processors and impact on farmgate prices.
Further or new submissions are invited.
A final report will be released by 1 October 2011.
Information TheCattleSite News Desk